Human Ingenuity Vs. Nature

March 31, 2011

As usual, my brain turns to mashed potatoes right around the 24 hr mark of being awake. Since I couldn’t focus on anything academic related, I decided to browse the news and catch up on the latest … NEWS, duh. Which always tends to blow my mind and therefore blog about it!

A while ago, I took this NJ Politics class and one of the debates was on Nuclear Energy. Naturally, those that were pro-nuclear or anti-nuclear were roughly split down the center. After doing some research, I decided to take my position with the anti-nuclear group. The arguments basically summed up to something like this:

Pro-Nuclear:

  • Its extremely clean.. France does it.
  • Being Anti-nuclear is ignorant. Human ingenuity has engineered and perfected nuclear power plants so that reactors wont break/meltdown.
  • Its cost-efficient. The lifespan of a power plant is yada yada yada, and it can power entire portions of the country.
  • Stop being such a wimp and trust human ingenuity because we rule! America F*ck YEAH!

Anti-Nuclear:

  • Who cares about what France does..
  • Human ingenuity surely has enhanced or even perfected the infrastructure of power plants, but humans are susceptible to mistakes; given that there WILL be proper incentives for workers to not slack off.
  • Power plants may have long life spans, and harnessing its energy may be cheap considering its widespread geographic range- but our planet remains a finite space. Eventually, the planet will run out of room for safely disposing of spent nuclear reactors.. then what? shoot them into space?
  • Human ingenuity can only go so far. Nature will ultimately take you by the shoulders and shake you silly. . . as did the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan.
  • NIMBY. or as a Jerseyian would say NIMFBY (you can imagine what the F stands for).

It bugs the hell out of me that humans believe they own the universe, as if there are some clearly defined property rights concerning what species owns the planet. In a way, we do. Let me clarify: Everything that is what it is today, was socially constructed out of self-interest of the individual, or aggregates thereof. Human beings have constructed the endless range of physical and metaphysical aspects in ways that benefit our interests. Things such as money, agriculture, cars, computers, supermarkets, and drive thru ATMS, to concepts of love, existence, time, morality, and truth. Everything produced is to benefit human beings.

But what about nature?

Its clear that human ingenuity has in part improved because history repeats itself. Therefore, it sounds reassuring that “humans have perfected the infrastructure of nuclear power plants because xyz was wrong in the last infrastructure, but now its fixed… hakuna matata!

But humans inherently fail by being anthropocentric. They forget about the miles and miles of earth and water rooted beneath their very own feet & that nature is a complex network of reactions. They forget that like earths finite resources, human ingenuity is also limited to the laws of nature.

————————————-

Every choice we make
every road we take
Every interaction
Starts a chain reaction
We’re both affected when we least expect it
And when we touched

It all connected

Touch by Natasha Bedingfield.

————————————-

I’m not trying to bash Japan or anything… my heart goes out to all those affected. All I’m trying to say is that the tragic events that rocked Japan (incurring a cost of over $300 Bill. + thousands of deaths and left millions homeless…) have reinforced my position on being anti-nuclear.

Call me ignorant all you want, but I’ll never change my mind. . .

 

So Japan would have been fine with its nuclear power plants if it weren’t rocked by a level 9 earthquake + tsunami aftermath. But nature is nature and there is no stopping it. As devastating and disastrous they might be…….. they are natural processes.

Human ingenuity is great for many things like satellites, cars, 3D phones, and TV’s. But it doesn’t measure up to risk turning a country inside out over just one bad earthquake or tsunami.

Even if humans could engineer infrastructure that eats earthquakes and drinks tsunamis for dinner… how could you test drive one of those?? It just doesn’t make sense to me.

Its a disaster to see a country suffer with the intensity and magnitude that nature thrusts at us from time to time, leaving us powerless.

Its a tragedy to see that human ingenuity perpetuated it, leaving us with our jaws on the floor.

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